Rusden Wines Cellar Door is now sadly closed until further notice, due to the current COVID19 situation. We will see you again sometime soon!
Each year we hold a number of dinners for our mailing list customers. We hunt down a great chef and invite them to work the wood oven in full view. Enjoy 4 or 5 courses served as communal shared plates paired with aged Rusden wines from our museum. Dinners serve up to 16 guests with the winemaker or family members as hosts. Join our mailing list.
The Den is available for private functions. We can cater for groups up to 16, tailor made to your needs and dietary requirements. Please contact us for more details.
Online Cellar Door
You may not be able to come to us at our Cellar Door, but you can still keep an eye on what we are up to in the vineyard, winery and cellar.
The History of our Cellar door
Christian returned from a vintage in Mexico in 2002 with a vision of a cellar door and communal dining area built around the wood oven.
In the early days, when people came to visit Rusden and taste our wines, we catered for them in an old galvo garage between the homestead and the winery. Poking out the side wall was an ancient fireplace and wood-fired oven built from local brick and stone. We used the fireplace to warm our guests as best we could, but the oven had remained dormant for over 30 years.
Christian returned from a vintage in Mexico in 2002 with a vision of a cellar door and communal dining area built around the wood oven. It would be designed to warm the souls of wine lovers through fire and food, enjoyed with rare, aged Rusden wine procured from the museum. The idea came about from a short stay in a bed and breakfast adobe in Baja’s Valle de Guadelupe, where each morning guests were invited to share in communal breakfast in the kitchen centred around a working wood oven. The atmosphere was warm and relaxing with a charmingly rustic old world feel.
In 2007, work on our cellar door began.
The old garage was pulled down and the building materials re-used to build the underground cellar in our vintage shed. The slab was then laid, the walls went up and the old wood-fired oven became part of the fabric which makes up our winery today.
There are many different ways to experience the Den. Tasting the new releases with a view over the winery to the Barossa Ranges. Enjoying museum aged wines at one of our dinners cooked in the wood oven by one of our favourite chefs. Amy Loechel’s striking artwork hangs from the rafters. Staff drinks, family shows and private functions are regular happenings.
Happy times are always on the menu and the memories are deeply treasured. Great wine and food is best shared.
The Wood-fired Oven
Built circa 1880, at the same time as the original section of the homestead, the wood-fired oven was an integral part of early life for the Kraft family in the Barossa Valley. The pioneers built black kitchens or outside kitchens to minimise the risk of their cottages being burnt down and to keep the heat out of the living quarters in summer. They baked bread, cooked meals and smoked meats in an adjoining smokehouse. The wood oven and fireplace at Rusden is one of the few survivors of that era. Most have been torn down or neglected to a state of ruin.
Before the first test run, (it had been dormant for over 30 years) we consulted the Fechner family who have run the local Apex wood-fired bakery oven since 1924. Nipper Fechner advised us to warm it up slowly, over a week long period, in order to re-temper the masonary and avoid cracking and damaging the oven. We did that, and cooked a veritable feast along the way with the verdict being that it cooked some amazing food with great wood-fired flavour.
Today it is the focal point of our cellar door and an imposing monument to times past. We are happy it is now housed indoors so it can be appreciated for many more generations.